Adoption Day Calendar 2016

Karen hill tribe dog sterilisation project with GVI

Written by admin. Posted in Dog and Cat Rescue Story

After a four hour drive, the second half through remote mountain terrain, we arrived at Huay Pakoot village in Mae Chaem, Northern Thailand. This is a small Karen hill tribe farming community where corn and pigs are raised. There seem to be piglets everywhere! There are also approximately 50 dogs, countless cats and five elephants with their mahouts.

It’s also home to several GVI volunteers engaged in elephant conservation studies here.  Earlier this year a run of sick puppies caused concern from the village chief, the community and GVI volunteers and staff. They were worried that the sickness would spread.  GVI looked into it and contacted Santisook dog and cat rescue. 

The main purpose of this trip was to assess the situation.  We needed to check out the condition of the dogs in general, and decide where we could put up a mobile sterilisation unit.  We also wanted to vaccinate as many dogs as possible and start to get the situation under control 

One thing we didn’t anticipate was that many of the dogs would be so reluctant to be caught.  We soon realised that even though the dogs live around the houses and people, many have never been touched. Also, all of the ‘owners’ were out working with the crops all day, so we had only a few local women to call on to help us. We tried lots of patient coaxing, but with little success. Many of the dogs were just too wary. So decision number one – on our next visit, we need to bring the guy with the blow dart gun!

A base camp dogs gets her shots

A base camp dogs gets her shots

Thankfully, some of the dogs came easily, and yet more were caught by volunteers wielding tasty dog treats.. it looks a little rough, but they need to be held firmly and it lasts less than a minute as Fon gives them all three quick shots. We vaccinated 30 dogs in all. Of the remainder, some we need to blow dart, some were pregnant females, (so we will make a plan for them in the future), and some we just didn’t see at all on this visit (lots of great places to hide from us!)

The puppies are much easier!

The puppies are much easier!

 

 

 

 

The dogs here are generally in good health.  A few are a little bit skinny and we’ve left food for the volunteers to give them over the next three weeks to build them up a bit for surgery.  Only one family of three dogs has mange, which can easily be treated.

Some of the dogs have, not surprisingly, moved into the volunteers ‘base camp’ and it’s clear to see which ones just by the size of them, they look very healthy! The general health of the dogs has improved considerably since the GVI volunteers first began their elephant conservation project here. Successive groups have taken it upon themselves to care for the dogs which has no doubt lead to improved health, and has now lead us to this innovative and much needed project. Their determination and hard work will reap many rewards for the dogs in the future.

It seems a bit rough, but only last a few seconds

It seems a bit rough, but only last a few seconds

All in all, it was a successful trip. We had a very good meeting with the village chief and locals. They fully support the GVI volunteers initiative and are happy for us to go ahead with sterilising as many dogs as we can. This is possibly the first project of this kind in such a remote part of Northern Thailand, and shows what can be done when people, like the GVI volunteers take it upon themselves to make change happen.

All the dogs got nice treats after their shots

All the dogs got nice treats after their shots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then a nice surprise for us.  The villagers wanted to know what could be done for their cats. Unlike most of the dogs who just live around the village, the cats are treated as pets and are well loved, often living inside the houses. Sadly, due to lack of vaccinations, cat and kitten deaths are high.  We saw quite a few that didn’t look very healthy at all. Fon will discuss this with the vet and we’ll bring cat vaccine next time, and also be prepared to remove some of the cats for medical care. Once treated, we will vaccinate and sterilise before returning them to the village. So that’s another little project!

Concerned for his cats

Concerned for his cats

The money for this project is being raised by GVI volunteers. If you would like to support them in helping the dogs and cats in this remote village in Northern Thailand, please follow this link: http://www.justgiving.com/dogsinhuaypakoot

We will return to the village in a few weeks time with a team of  vets and support staff.. we plan to stay 4 days and hopefully complete the job. We’ll keep you posted!

Rooting out the last of the dog biscuits.. all vaccinated!

Rooting out the last of the dog biscuits.. all vaccinated!

 

 

 

 

Update ~ 30th July 2012

We went back to the village with Kn Dip and Kn Bon from The Ark Animal Rescue in Chiang Mai. Kn Dip was able to blow dart many of the shy male dogs and get them into surgery. The operation is quite straight forward and takes only about 30 minutes from start to finish. Dissolvable stitches are used internally so within a week the tiny surgical opening will be fully healed.   The dogs are given antibiotic shots too, to help their recovery. We also managed to vaccinate and health check many more cats and kittens this time.

But for now, twelve males have been sterilised and another 34 vaccinated – a very successful trip! Thank you to Kn Dip and Kn Bon from The Ark. There are 24 photos on facebook:Dog Sterilisation with GVI in Mae Chaem

Kylie with a blow darted dog
Kn Dip & Kn Bon  with the all day audience

Kn Dip & Kn Bon with the all day audience

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update ~ August 15th 2012

We arrived mid afternoon after our 225km trip up from Chiang Mai, and Kylie and Lindsay had our afternoon organised and ready to go.  Having done this once before we were all more familiar with the layout of the village, top shop and school, and all the places the dogs love to hang out or hide.

The surgery area was set up again under the balcony of a big house and we went straight up to Top shop to get the very shy dog who lives up there. Quite often Kn Dip goes off on his own following dogs he wants to blow dart, but this time we were all able to watch him in action.  The blow dart gun is only successful from a maximum of about five yards, so he has to get pretty close. Over the two days he  followed a number of dogs through jungle and corn fields, blow darting, then calling in volunteers to track the dog until it dropped.  Once the dog was fully unconscious it could be safely carried down to surgery.

Kn Dip's perfect shot!

Kn Dip's perfect shot!

We stayed for two days and had a very successful trip. Eighteen male dogs were sterilised, most of them being blow darted. With the really shy dogs Kn Dip came up with a great plan to get up close ~ some dogs aren’t bothered by motor bikes passing close by to them in the village, so the guys borrowed a bike and did a blow-dart drive by – no problem! For more photos, visit facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.340904565997764.82628.174883445933211&type=3

So, 30 male dogs sterilised to date. We go back on the 29th August with two more vets to sterilise all of the females, can’t wait!

The money for this project is being raised by GVI volunteers. If you would like to support them in helping the dogs and cats in this remote village in Northern Thailand, please follow this link: http://www.justgiving.com/dogsinhuaypakoot

Update: 29th – 31st August:  We packed up our trucks and headed back to Mae Chaem. We had two vets, Kn Jaidee and Kn Fak, nursing assistant  Kh Unn, Kn Dip with his blow-dart gun and two Santisook volunteers. Also on hand to help were the staff and volunteers at GVI Basecamp.

First up is Seal - being prepared for surgery

First up is Seal - being prepared for surgery

It was a very successful trip – Sterilising 18 female dogs, 2 male dogs, 2 female cats and 1 male cat. Kn Dip bagged 14 dogs in total, he’s one cool dude with that blow-dart gun!

Two of the pregnant dogs had given birth to 10 puppies between them.  So we’re not finished yet.  We will get the females dogs sterilised in a few months time and we plan to go back in six months to sterilise all of the pups.

Vets at work!

Vets at work!

We need funds to help us complete this very important project, please consider donating today, Details here:  www.santisookdogsandcats.org/en/donation/

Field hospital set up

Field hospital set up

 

 

 

 

Recovering from surgery

Recovering from surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kn Dip - ready to blow-dart the dog

Kn Dip - ready to blow-dart the dog

 

 

 

Volunteers getting the next dog ready

Volunteers getting the next dog ready

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First female cat in surgery

First female cat in surgery

 

 

First male cat in surgery

First male cat in surgery

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GVI staff with recovering female dogs

GVI staff with recovering female dogs

 

 

Lovely local food prepared for staff & volunteers

Lovely local food prepared for staff & volunteers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every Friday night, staff and volunteers sit down to a meal called ‘Pot Luck’. It’s several wonderful local Karen hill tribe dishes prepared by the women in the village. Somehow we have always managed to be there  for Friday nights.. I wonder why..?       Thank You for your Wonderful Hospitality! ( 10009 Views)